Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub talks about charges against James Carey, a former Warminster police officer who allegedly abused four boys.
Christopher Dornblaser, Bucks County Courier Times
A teacher’s aide at a Falls private school is accused of sexually abusing a student, according to police.
On Thursday night, Jennilynne M. Derolf, 38, was arraigned on charges alleging she sexually assaulted a 14-year-old Valley Day School student in July.
Derolf, of Bristol Township, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with someone younger than 16, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, aggravated indecent assault, institutional sexual assault and misdemeanor counts of indecent assault or corruption of minors.
Valley Day School, which is based in Falls, is a private school that aims to educate students with histories of acute learning, adjustment, behavioral or emotional needs in less restrictive school settings, according to the school’s website.
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Executive Director Robert Phillips said Friday that the allegations were reported to law enforcement once it was known to the school. Derolf was immediately suspended and not allowed to enter the building or have contact with students.
The school fully cooperated with law enforcement, according to the executive director. He said clinical staff will be reaching out to students and staff that were in the classroom with Derolf to support them in any kind of needs they may have.
Falls police said investigators were notified of the abuse when the victim’s relative reported Tuesday that the boy was having a romantic relationship with Derolf.
The victim told detectives that Derolf would message him using a phone messaging app called Discord, charging documents state. The two would often meet at Falls Township Park, according to police.
Derolf sexually assaulted the teen three times this month, police allege. The incidents happened twice in her vehicle while at the Levittown Lake in Tullytown, and a third time at an unknown location believed to be near a baseball field in Bristol Township, according to charging documents.
“The defendant’s conduct is not only reprehensible, but criminal,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said in a news release Friday. “She not only violated the trust required in any student-teacher relationship, but also that trust that children should be able to have in all adults of authority. She will be held accountable for her criminal acts.”
Judge Jan Vislosky set bail at 10% of $900,000 for Derolf, which she was unable to post. She did not have an attorney listed for her Friday.
He preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.